A little perspective on duty.

by Melissa on November 7, 2012

Okay, so who, besides me, wants to avoid his/her personal Facebook page today? Haha.

All political opinions aside, based on affiliation at least, I do know one thing: this country needs to stick together. I’m proud of this country for so many different reasons, and I won’t say whether yesterday’s decision is part of that list or not, and the one thing I hope to see is unification. On all platforms. Regardless of who is in office, I pray for those running this country – I pray for their safety, their good judgment, and their ability to handle such a tough job. I pray for us – I pray that we stand up and fight for a country we believe in, pass no judgment on those who hold different opinions, and help those in need. I pray that we remember that we have our own duties to our own families and to ourselves and to those for whom we care. It’s time to focus and move ahead.

**I began this post at 7:45 this morning, and it’s now 1:46PM.**

The morning took a turn I wasn’t expecting, and without disclosing too much information, my husband and I were made aware of a young family member that’s been diagnosed with cancer. We’re unsure of the details, but we’re all in a bit of shock.

This news actually comes at a strange time. I started this post out talking about our country, and what I wrote above is literally all I had to say about the campaign and yesterday’s election. This isn’t a political blog and I try not to talk politics with even my own family, but I think we can all agree on wanting this country to flourish and that we all have our own duties to carry out – our own duties to play our parts.

Last night I was talking to my husband about our health, and about how my desire to be as healthy as possible simply for our kids and for myself is a responsibility I need to uphold. The changes I’ve made throughout the past few years have really changed my life – for the better. While I still have work to do, the one thing I’ve been seriously proud of is the awareness of how important it is to be healthy that my children, at 5 and 3, have themselves.

Our duties are not only to help others in need or our children, but also to care for ourselves. I would be lying if I told you that all of this has been only for my children. It’s also been for the vanity of it all. (I hate that we place so much emphasis on outer image, but we do.) I would love to have a particular body shape – to not have to work that much harder to feel like I deserve the title “personal trainer” simply because I have a few more pounds on my frame than someone else would like to see. Most of all, though, I started this journey for myself.

It’s our duty (and privilege) to take care of ourselves. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally. You name it.


This is why I have silently, and now out loud, vowed to make sure that the most important “client” in my life is ME.

I didn’t take on the work to become a trainer, through three different programs nonetheless, simply to help someone “get some abs”. (Don’t worry, I’m not knocking anyone with that goal. We all want ‘em. lol) I took this on because it’s a passion of mine to help others understand that it’s about more than an image or a competition to me. My journey started with someone I love very dearly suffering from anorexia-bulimia to spark this within me. It took giving birth to two beautiful girls. It took looking in the mirror and hating that I hated myself so much. It’s been a very long, personal journey. It is about feeling good, being healthy, and living life. None of us are perfect. I don’t care if you’ve won 18 figure competitions, 30 Ironman triathlons, or a handful of ultramarathons – we all have room for improvement and humility.

The news we got today just reinforced everything I’ve been feeling recently. Things can change in an instant. In a single diagnosis. In a single moment. Sometimes they’re preventable and sometimes they’re not. It’s my duty to take care of what I can when it comes to things I can control. Life is so uncertain, and if I end up a successful photographer more so than a successful trainer, then I’m glad I went the route I did. My education wasn’t just for someone else’s benefit.

I’m not sure what the point of this post is, to be honest with you. It sort of went all over the place there, didn’t it? I’m hopeful. I’m in shock. I’m motivated. I had to write these feelings out, and it’s so strange that the beginning of this post started out the way it did and morphed into what it did. Ha. All I know is today’s a reminder that I cherish the ability to change, my good health, and my duty to others.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Natalie T. November 7, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Great post!! Everything can change in an instant.

Oh and let me tell you, my FB newsfeed was a mess this morning, lol.


Melissa November 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Mine was, too…I’ve really learned the beauty of self control this year. LOL


Ashley November 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I am sorry to hear about your family member.

I really appreciate the reminder to focus on ourselves though. I forget this so often. And it really is truly important.


Melissa November 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Thank you…there’s a very positive vibe floating through the family, though, so I’m optimistic. :)


Erica { EricaDHouse.com } November 7, 2012 at 3:41 pm

I really love reading the ‘stream of consciousness’ type posts – they are very raw and honest and moving.

I am so sorry to hear about your family members diagnosis and I will keep you all in my thoughts. The insight it has given you on your life, your purpose and your duty is inspiring.


Melissa November 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Took me forever to finish this post with everything going on! lol

And thank you. <3


Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) November 7, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Amazing post! This is exactly why I get up every morning before the crack of dawn to workout and why I make sure that I provide myself and my family with healthy options to fuel our bodies.


Jenna November 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Lots of prayers to you and your family today, Melissa! Very sorry for that news! Hope that your day becomes better, and I agree with 100% about being your own best trainer! Hang in there! Spa<3


jobo November 7, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Wow, friend, that is so so sad, what news to get. My prayers are with your family. I love your message, it’s about empowerment and paying it forward. Respecting your body. Fueling it. Saving it, really. Defending it, and your family’s bodies as best you can against such illnesses. you have all the tools to do this, and I am so proud of how you are paying it forward to your family and your future clients! ((hug))


Jess November 7, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I am constantly in LOVE with your perspective on things, in LOVE with it (and you!). Beautiful post my friend — straight from the heart, as always. Could not agree with you more…embrace this life that we’re given, not only is it fleeting but it can change in an utter nanosecond, as you so aptly pointed out (and so very sad for your family, I am so sorry my friend). Making the most of our days on this earth is SO SO SO much more important than ‘smabs…which are nice and all, but I’d much prefer good health, strength and longevity above all else. Thank you for this reminder, as always. Love you!


Ericka @ The Sweet Life November 7, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Love your openness, Melissa. I can always relate to you. Thanks for the thoughtful post :)


Tamara November 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Melissa, I’m so sorry to hear about your family’s bad news. And yes, sometimes it takes news like that to spark a ‘wake up call’ and get ourselves back to what’s really important. Abs are great, but when they’re gone (and man, they are a ton of work to keep…), it’s even better to have your health and a functional level of fitness!
Thanks for this thought-provoking post!


Caitlin November 7, 2012 at 6:56 pm

So sorry to hear about your family member, but I am in awe of your bravery. Thank you so much for sharing!


ilene November 7, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I love the sentiment that the most important client is me. I have to remember this as a yoga teacher. Besides, I am so much better for everyone around me when I take care of myself on that level. My prayers to your family member. The hurricane was my fierce reminder of recent on how everything can change on a dime. But thank you for your reminder as well. I need these constantly!


Kierston November 7, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Thinking of you and your family.


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